Sister seeks justice in stabbing death of her brother in Lillooet

Leeland Alexander was from Xat’sull First Nations

A Cariboo area woman is seeking justice for her older brother who died two years ago in Lillooet after being stabbed multiple times.

Jorry Camille of Williams Lake said Justin Ehlart, who stabbed her brother Leeland Alexander, 25, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Jan. 22, 2024 in relation to the death and is set to appear again in Kamloops court on Monday, June 3.

She said she has heard Ehlart could get as little as seven years and is asking, is that all her brother’s life was worth?

“Why does Justin, who got to live 37 years of his life, get to enjoy the comfort of freedom after taking such a valuable person from me?”

Camille’s brother lived in Vancouver for quite some time.

She last saw him July 2021.

“I really cared about and loved my brother,” said said.

She describes Alexander as an Indigenous man who suffered from his addictions due to inter-generational trauma.

He was an addict who lived on the streets and suffered mental health issues, but was not always that way, dedicating a majority of his adult years working many different maintenance jobs for Xat’sull First Nations, their home community, located between Williams Lake and Quesnel.

“In this duration he completed numerous ticket training sessions and was part of the main crew who built the 20-plus km bike trail on our reservation.”

Camille noted her brother’s own mom was murdered when he was 12-years-old and after that he went into care.

Eventually he came to live in the community again, but when their grandmother died, Camille said it was the beginning of a downward spiral.

“He took care of me through my own traumas and I can never repay him for that,” she said. “I am proud to be his sister.

She hopes others will remember the good about him.

“A lot of people will hold a piece of him. Even if they just met him - he was that kind of person.”

As for his death, she has been told it was due to an argument that got out of hand, she said.

At the time RCMP said on March 15, 2022 they were advised of an injured man in the 600 block of Main Street in Lillooet. RCMP located Alexander with serious injuries.

He was transported to the Lillooet hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Sgt. Chris Manseau, spokesperson for the BC RCMP, thanked witnesses who came forward to assist with evidence gathering in the case.

Manseau also thanked the Statlimx Tribal Police, who were on scene before the RCMP arrived on March 15.

“I will be showing up at court to try and figure out what happened and I will be giving my victim impact statement that day.”

Camille is inviting everyone to a candlelight vigil outside the courthouse on June 3 at 9 a.m. to help raise awareness.

She said there will be Indigenous drummers and singers there.

“I want people to know they can come and support this if they have a problem with the justice system or missing and murdered Indigenous people,” she said.

Damienne Darby, communications counsel BC Prosecution Service told the Tribune the court ordered various pre-sentence reports and the sentencing hearing is scheduled to proceed on June 3.

There is a publication ban regarding any evidence given at the preliminary inquiry, Darby confirmed.

With files from mambiz

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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